tv Washington Journal 02132020 CSPAN February 13, 2020 6:59am-9:00am EST
>> host: the resignation of four department of justice career prosecutors in the roger stone case has called into question the role of the attorney general, william barr, and the influence of president trump and has called the attorney general to capitol hill for a march hearing. good morning. welcome to "washington journal" for this thursday, february 13, 2020. we'll spend the first hour or so talking about that, the role of the justice department in the roger stone case. republicans call 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. and for independents and others, that's 202-748-8002.
u can also send us a text at 202-748-8003, tell us your name, where you're texting from. we're also on twitter and facebook. let's start with the reporting of the "los angeles times" at latimes.com, and their headline reflective of a number of others, justice department royaled in the roger stone case -- roiled in the roger stone case. roger stone, a longtime confidant of president trump, receive a less stiffer sentence. democrats called for investigations, which led four career prosecutors tuesday to dramatically withdraw from the case. former federal prosecutor said the department appeared to have either botched its oversight of the prosecution or abandoned decades of independence to help a friend of president trump.
by the way, writes "the times," they said the justice department suffered a serious blow to its reputation in withdrawing recommendations that stone, a longtime republican operative and self-proclaimed dirty trickster, be sentenced 7 to 9 years in prison for obstructing a house investigation, witness tampering, and lying to congress. president trump commented yesterday on the decision by the justice department. here's what he had to say. president trump: people were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people, and i want to thank -- if you look at what happened, i want to thank the justice department for seeing this horrible thing. and i did you not speak to them, by the way, just so you understand. they saw the horribleness of a nine-year sentence for doing nothing. you have murderers and drug addicts that don't get nine years. nine years for doing something that nobody even can define what he did. they said he put out a tweet, and the tweet, you base it on that. we have killers, we have
murderers all over the place, nothing happens. and then they put a man in jail and destroy his life, his family, his wife, his children. nine years in jail, it's a disgrace. in the meantime, comey walks around making book deals to people that launch this scam investigation, and what they did is a disgrace. and hopefully it will be treated fairly. everything else will be treated fairly. host: for some perspective on the roger stone case and the role of the justice department, we're joined by jeff murdoch, justice department correspondent for the "washington times." remind us again what roger stone was found guilty of and the sentencing recommendations those prosecutors from d.o.j. had recommended. guest: roger stone was found guilty of seven crimes related to his impeding of a congressional investigation into the trump campaign alleged ties to russia. among the charges he faced were
lying to congress, witness tampering, because he threatened a witness to plead the fifth and stonewall the committee, as well as obstruction. in the witness tampering charges, part of that, he threatened harm to him and his dog. the justice department recommended 7 to 9 years for these crimes, which is on the high end of the guidance. if you look at sentencing guidelines for mr. stone, that is on the high end. the justice department, when they reversed court, did not take a position on what the sentence should be, but they did call the prosecutor's initial recommendation excessive and unwarranted, and they didn't come out and say it, but if they were going to reduce it based on guidelines, i would estimate mr. stone would get between about 3 to 4 years in prison. host: why did the four prosecutors say they were
resigning? guest: they had not said. it's been radio silence from the prosecutors. but if you follow the timeline, it's very apparent that they have resigned in protest of the justice department reversing course and undercutting their initial recommendations. one of the prosecutors even resigned from the justice departmental together, while the other three just withdraw from the case. host: your reporting in the "washington times," you did some investigation, looking at comparing previous and similar sentencing guidelines, and you bring up a number of examples. the headline in your piece, initial suggestion for stone sentence unusually excessive, you point out that watergate figures were both sentenced to 8 years for lying to congress, but their terms reduced to 4, ultimately mitchell and haldeman served 19 and 18 months respectively. in the end, those are guidelines. isn't it the federal judge who makes the decision in these cases?
guest: that's correct. the federal judge has the discretion to depart from the guidelines or stick to the guidelines. it's entirely up to how the judge proceeds. and we've had cases where judges have gone wildly above or wildly below the guidelines based on the circumstances of the case. you bring up a very good point that in my "washington times" article, it's looked at the people who have been convicted of similar crimes, there's nobody who's come even close to serving 8 to 9 years. the most anybody has for lying to congress is michael cohn got three years, president trump's fixer, michael cohn, got three years, and there's also other crimes mixed in there as well, and ultimately he pled guilty, which got it reduced. but in some cases, a baseball player was found -- pled guilty to lying to congress about steroid use, and he only got
probation for that. host: the federal judge in this case is amy berman jackson. the president has been critical of her on twitter. you covered the justice department and federal courts. what's your sense of her track record on sentencing? guest: she's a very -- in terms of sentencing. but also mr. stone has repeatedly antagonized her, sort of pushed the boundaries of some of the pretrial requirements, and i think that has frustrated her very much. one of the issues that she had to put in a gag order, and it was a very generous gag order at first, blocking mr. stone from talking about the case, blocking him from criticizing the mueller team, which ultimately his case was an outgrowth of. he didn't abide by that. so then she issued a tougher,
more -- and it was so -- he was so outspoken, there was even controversy where he put a picture of her on a social media feed with what looked to be crosshairs next to her face. that enraged prosecutors. that enraged her. and she issued a much more tighter, much more stringent gag order. and one of the things i found kind of interesting is she asked both the defense attorneys and prosecutors to talk about whether or not -- not only the sentencing guidelines with these offenses mr. stone was convicted of, but also whether or not he complied with her pretrial orders and how closely he followed the gag orders imposed. so she's looking at everything here to craft her sentence, not just the crimes he committed. host: lastly, what's the significance of the attorney general agreeing to testify before the house judiciary committee at the end of march? guest: well, what's significant is it finally breaks a standoff between attorney general barr and the house democrats on the
judiciary committee. they've been trying to get mr. barr to testify since the mueller investigation wrapped up a year ago. he was supposed to testify. there was a disagreement over the formatting of his testimony, and democrats have really been clamoringir cmittee. right now roger stone is the hot issue, but there are numerous topics democrats are prepared to grill mr. barr about. host: jeff mordock covering federal courts in washington, you can follow him on twitter, @jeffmordock. thanks so much for the update this morning. guest: thank you. take care. host: let's get to your calls. the lines for republicans, 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents and others, 202-748-8002. bradenton, florida, good morning. caller: good morning. this is a disgrace that trump is using the justice department
to get involved in mr. stone's sentences. bill barr has no authority to get involved in the stone sentencing. and i wish i was trump buddy so i can commit crimes and be pardoned by trump. barr needs to be subpoenaed by congress again, but he will not show up, because he's corrupt. just like trump. thoip kansas, republican line. caller: good morning. i have several comments. number one, i heard on fox & friends within the last half-hour that a person who identified herself as a jury foreman in roger stone's trial apparently posted, i think it was on twitter, that she supported the prosecution. well, a, that's a problem since that trial is still ongoing. number two, apparently they found a lot of anti-trump
messages on her social media, which calls into question her bias, which, according to judge napolitano, could call into question the whole trial. there might have to be a whole new trial sarment had this. host: and you're hearing that from fox & friends? caller: that's correct. the second thing i would like to say is that this whole witch hunt against our president that has been going on for years, since even before he took office, there have been a lot of bad actors already found to have committed indiscretions. some have been fired, but that's the limit. there were 17 abuses to the fisa court document. nothing has happened to anybody. -- if the ke president or his supporters do
anything, they throw the book at them. people actually found that committed potential crimes in the process of investigating him, nothing happens to them. it's just blatantly obvious that it's not fair. i'll put it that way. host: all right, port orange, florida, republican line. caller: good morning. i want to comment on the roger stone case, specifically the overreach by the prosecution. i find it very interesting that these four prosecutors resigned and it's cricket noises from them, coupled with the fact with your previous caller just talked about fox & friends, reporting the jury foreman seems to have been biased. and for us americans, what we are really upset with is the justice in this country, and it
seems that the political persuasion has lift the blindfold right off of lady justice, and we want to know when is there going to be justice in this country as far as who tells the lie and what happens to them. some people tell lies, and guess what, it's a mistake. oh, we made mistakes. like the fisa warrants, and the inspector general said there was 17 cases where there was procedural problems. that's ridiculous. this is from the justice department and the f.b.i. they are supposed to be at the highest level, at the highest level of integrity. and they're not. they're corrupt. and everybody can see it. host: and mark, you allege they're corrupt. what do you think the root of that corruption is? caller: you know, i don't have enough evidence in front of me, but political bias seems to definitely be on the mind.
you look at the page, look at the texts that go back and forth with them. you're going tell me at the very least there wasn't something called unconscious bias. whenever you target somebody to start an investigation, you're biased. you are looking at that person for a specific reason, ok, and that's what they let happen, and that's how i feel, and that's how a lot of americans feel. host: ok, we'll go to edward next, greenbelt, maryland, democrats line. caller: good morning, c-span. i am a proud african-american scientist, and we have two voting systems in the united states of america. we're the only one that has two voting systems. i reported to ronald reagan and w.h. bush under the salt treaty at that time. and this president, nancy pelosi, she has the power of the purse. i believe this should take air force one and the white house away from the president,
because this president doesn't know the rules of law in any state. he doesn't know the constitution. the russian literature always said, vladimir putin said i'm glad they're not talking about vladimir putin anymore. vladimir putin generated this story about ukraine. vladimir putin and russian literature, they say that the president is vladimir putin's convenient idiot, so the russians are glad about this thing. this is a story that's generated by the russian literature and russia itself. and i believe this man is violating our laws of constitution. he's violating the emoluments clause. when you try to convince other powers, other nations to help u in your election and to go against people who are running for election in the united states of america. host: reporting on the fallout
host: next up, debbie from north carolina, independent line. caller: yes, i would just like to say that with all the investigations that the democrats have carried out, we taxpayers are paying over $42 million for all of this. we are tired of taking this money, taxpayer money, and paying for these investigations . i do believe that they need to get permission from the taxpayers now to spend any more money. in north carolina, we have had tremendous hurricanes. we still have people living in hotels. that money would have gone a long way to put people in a house, and that's all i have to say. thank you. host: thank you. the headline in "the hill" this morning, reporting g.o.p. senators say trump shouldn't weigh in on pending sentences. one democratic senator did weigh in as the democratic leader in the senate, chuck
schumer from the floor of the senate. here's what he said. >> the president ran against the swamp in washington. a place where the game is rigged by the powerful to benefit them personally. i ask my fellow americans, what is more swampy? what is more stinking than the most powerful person in the country literally changing the rules to benefit a crony guilty of breaking the law? as a result, i have formally requested that the inspector general of the justice department investigate this matter immediately. and this morning, i call on judiciary committee chairman graham to convene an emergency hearing of the judiciary committee to do the same, to conduct oversight and hold hearings. that's the job of the judiciary committee, no matter who is president and whether the president from your party or not. something egregious like this demands that the inspector
general investigate and demands the chairman of the judiciary hearing hold a hearing now. host: to that, on twitter, here's nelson, senator schumer, what's more swampy? barack obama's attorney general holder publicly demand declaring he's barack obama's wing man or attorney general lynch giving hillary clinton staff immunity and allowing them into her questioning about her crime of destroying government documents. from bill who says roger stone is guilty of wearing goofy shades. judge jackson, he says, an obama appointee, to anyone's surprise, she'd go overboard with the sentencing. we go to gary, who tweets this, it's good to be king if there is corruption anywhere in america, it's the d.o.j. to investigate and to prosecutors. back to your calls. clay in north carolina. boone, north carolina, republican line. go ahead. caller: hey, buddy, how are you this morning? thank you for c-span.
i don't know why. half the time i watch the show, i get so upset listening to callers. but the lady in north carolina, is 100% right. the gentleman in florida is 100% right. basically the way i feel is, i just want a just judicial system. and we have a lot more things to be doing right now than sitting ur time on somebody nine years for , ically telling a lie teampering with some evidence, which is bad. nobody disagrees with that. he should never have done that. and that's what he was found guilty of. but they're correct about fox there reporting that was some bias in the judicial system there.
host: you're the third one to tell us us that morning. they say it's a jury forewoman or foreman. are they giving a source for that report? host: i can't recall right now, but they are reporting that. host: ok. caller: that's all i really have to say. they kind of stole my thunder. but anyway, y'all have a great day. i enjoy c-span. host: glad you got through. illinois, democrats line, go ahead. caller: yes, good morning. i have -- in the morning when i do my walk, if i see something, i say something. when i come back from my walk, i'll call the nonemergency police and say, hey, there's a tree fall in the middle of the street or there's this or that. after listening to the different trials that have been going on, i think i should step back and not do that, because
that could come back and haunt me. some police could say, oh, there's that lady, she walks in the morning and she's already telling us there's something here, something there, go investigate her. so, i don't know, maybe it's just a little paranoia, but it makes me feel weird that in a time like we're having now, unless you're a friend of the president, you could be investigated and lies could be told about you. so that's what i wanted to say. it just -- i don't know. that's all i wanted to say. host: ok. kevin on the independent line in fort lauderdale, florida. caller: thank you for taking my call. i'm listening to all the callers, and i'm flabbergasted. i'm a teacher, middle school, civics, special ed, former of
stoneman douglas. i'm going to ask people to listen for a quick second. we're talking about the law. those people who are talking about wasting millions of dollars on an investigation. this is our government. these are the people who are running our government. this is a representative republic. we have authorized them to use this money as they see fit. if you don't like the way they're using it, fine, find a candidate who will. i think that's the reason why we have so many people going to independent sources like bernie sanders and stuff. but the thing that i have to say really is that whether or not someone had any bias on the jury or not in all honesty, which is not even been proven, it's just speculation, there's no proof of it, it's just another comment as the liberals do on their stations. the bottom line is that he obstructed justice.
he lied to congress. those who are conservative need to remember that's what they went after clinton for when he lied under oath, and he should have been removed from office, because he lost our trust. but under the guidelines of law, 7 to 9 years is kind of light for the seven federal felonies. and a presidential investigation that roger stone committed, and for anyone on either side to talk about bias, the bottom line is this. the prosecutors were appointed by our president and his administration. there should be no bias. these are people who are trying to do their job and someone's gumming up the works. whether president trump is doing it because he's consciously doing it or because he just doesn't know because he's never been a politician makes no difference. people need to take their emotions and their politics out of this and see law for law. laws were broken. someone needs to go to jail. and anybody using their power and influence to try to get
that person off or reduce their sentence, etc., should not be doing it, regardless if there's a legal implication, then they should do something about it, whether it's the president or vice president or anybody else for interfering in this. if barr is going take influence from another power, it's his job to shut that down, then there needs to be another investigation. i'd rather my money go to an investigation than, with all due respect, the president playing golf every weekend. i lived down here. i can't even get through the roads sometimes because he's down here. and i don't have an issue with trump as a person or businessman. as a president, i would prefer someone different, whether it's a republican or democrat, anyone else. this is not a partisan thing. but people need to start taking a look at the rule of law. host: kevin in florida, we remind you where we are in the process, too. the four prosecutors resigning after justice department intervened to lower the recommendations, so he has not been sentenced yet.
he's been found guilty of charges. he will be sentenced in the coming weeks. judge jackson in washington will deliver that sentence. but the four prosecutors resigning on tuesday. a number of callers have mentioned a report this morning on fox & friends. here's that report on fox news. the headline, roger stone jury foreperson's anti-trump social media posts surface after she defends d.o.j. prosecutors, reported by fox news, and you an read that at foxnews.com. we go to allen on our republican line. welcome. caller: yeah, schumer, you know -- it's better to be thought a fool when he opened his mouth nd leave no doubt. they never prosecuted anybody lse for lying to congress. all the holder and all of their
people. comey, beenen, all of them lied to congress. where are they and why aren't they in jail? i'll tell you why they aren't in jail. they didn't dare prosecute hillary clinton because she has too much dirt on barack obama, and he didn't -- and if they prosecuted her, she would squeal like a pig. if she thought she was going to do jail time, she sure would let them know where they come from. what do you say to that? host: san antonio, texas, democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm listening, sitting here to listening how they let people call in. i understand their right and you let them spew things that you know is not true. but every morning i wake up and i get so depressed because not
only is the media, c-span, always thought it was a spectacle. but now i don't understand c-span now no more. because these people -- roger stone broke the law. our criminals in this country decide when they go that way, this person is biased, this person is biased. that shouldn't be convicted. this man broke the law, and i'm listening to all these people calling in, blaming the democrats. democrats didn't break the law. roger stone broke the law. he was convicted, as they always tell black people, by 12 people of his peers. they convicted him. not the congress. he broke the law. what part of that do these people not understand? i wish black people had the privilege and right to walk up in a courtroom and get convicted and somehow they can find somebody that can put
their hands on the scale and come in there and say, no, i don't think he should go to jail. host: that's texas. president trump tweeted a number of times about this over tuesday and wednesday, talked about roger stone yesterday in an event at the oval office. president trump: the fact is that roger stone was treated horribly, and so were many other people. their lives were destroyed. and it turns out, you look at the fisa warrants, what just happened with fisa, where they found out it was fixed and it was a dirty, rotten deal. so when you look at that and you see what happened to roger stone -- but think of it. a man leaks classified information, highly classified, they give him two months. roger stone for doing -- nobody even knows what he did. in fact, they said he intimidated somebody. that person said he had no idea he was going to jail for that. that person didn't want to press charges. they put him in for nine years. it's a disgrace. and frankly, they ought to apologize to a lot of the people whose lives they ruined.
host: your thoughts on the justice department's role in the resignation of the four prosecutors in the roger stone case. 202-748-8001 for republicans. democrats, 202-748-8000. for independents and others, 02-748-8002. california, republican line is next. caller: good morning. so i think roger stone's big mouth got him to where he's at. i've been nothing stuff since the very beginning. and everything he was telling the president, president-elect, you can get right off of wikileaks. assange was doing videos all the time, boasting all this stuff, that he was going to be doing. so stone was trying to make himself seem a lot more important than he really was. and as far as jewel an assange has said, he's never once talked to stone. -- julian assange has said,
he's never once talked to stone. and we've never heard anything from assange since they arrested him and dragged him out of the embassy there. i don't even know if he's in the united states now. anyway, one person i would like to hear from is julian assange. host: what do you think julian assange knows? what do you think he can add? caller: number one, if the russians gave him the emails or somebody else did. there's a lot of rumor that seth rich is the one who gave all those d.n.c. emails to julian assange. and mueller's report, when he lists newspaper articles, we all know newspaper articles are the best possible evidence, right? [laughter] anyway. roger stone, he was a blowhard, bragged too much, tried to make himself seem a lot more important than he is, and his big mouth kept getting him in more and more trouble and snowballed to right now where we're at. host: ok, south carolina,
emocrats line. brenda, hello. you're on the air. caller: yes, i agree with the prosecutors taking a stand. and i would just like to say one thing. a lot of the callers calling in, talking about comey and democrats. it's not about democrats. it's not about republican. it's not about comey. it's about breaking the law and the rule of justice. what the republicans has to realize and democrats, if it was my son, my husband, my daughter, my child, would there the scales be tilt for them? wood president snep for your child if he broke the sflaw would he snep and give him a lighter sentence? i don't think so. fox news is not gospel. before reporting something from fox news, make sure that it's accurate and is true. and one thing i would like to ask c-span. would you please go over for the viewers the charges that
was against stone. they make it seem like it's one little minor charge. read out all the charges. threatening witnesses, it was very defined with congress and the law. host: yeah, you may have missed the top of the program there, brenda. we did talk about the charges with reporter jeff mordock from "the washington times." "washington post" lead editorial this morning, justice diminished. they write that this is another big step in the erosion of standards at the attorney general -- at the attorney general william p. barr's justice department. the department on tuesday suggested a light sentence for president trump's old friend, roger stone, by overturning the previously filed and tougher proposal --
host: shreveport, louisiana, independent line. caller: hi. i just wanted to say, i've never voted in my life. i'm going to vote for the first time for donald trump. i went and did my research, and i figured out that not only msnbc, all the major networks are shadow of the government, and they are doing wrong to the people. shame on you. x-22 is where you need to go. praying medic is where you need to go. and everybody needs to go do the research. i've got all my friends
involved now. i'm tired. eth rich did get killed. i will tell you that her server was not hacked. you're going to find out that john brennan, james comey, they're all going to jail. so get ready, everybody, the great awakening is coming. thank you. host: delaware, scott on the republican line. go ahead. scott, good morning, go ahead. i'm sorry, scott, there you go. delaware, go ahead. caller: yes, i just wanted to respond to the gentleman that called a little while ago that was talking about the charges and seven years for seven federal crimes, and he was independent. i just want to say, it's tough to botch a lot of things in a sound bite. we're so used to giving quick blurbs. i think what's really boiling over for most of us that are conservative is not so much
that stone's getting seven years, it's the fact that people who have proven and even admitted on national television to committing crimes had nothing happen to them. and then somebody who is also guilty having the book thrown at them. i think it's just the blatant injustice that rankles -- if he's guilty, let him do the time. but in the same time that everybody else should be doing. lying before a committee, lying on national television has become so commonplace, we don't even really -- most of us don't bat an eye when the president does it. we call it hyperbole. the man's a liar. he's not the guy i would have chosen, but he's certainly better than the alternative. i think we're just in a place now where we're so quick to condemn the people. we throw out the baby with the bath water. look at what they did to the poor justice and his family all over lies that were not only unsubstantiated, but later proven to be blatantly false, and yet again, nobody's come
back to say, oh, we should do something about it or we apologize. all they say is we'll get them next time. host: all right. political news, two days after the new hampshire primary, from cnn, bloomberg picks up endorsements from three black lawmakers amidst stops. michael bloomberg touted the endorsements of three members of the congressional black caucus from georgia, new york, and the virgin islands. made no mention of the controversial policing practices that took place under bloomberg's mayorality in their endorsement statements. also news out of iowa. the head of the democratic party there has stepped down, announcing his resignation. troy price in his resignation letter saying the fact is that democrats deserve better than what happened on caucus night. as chair of the party, i am deeply sorry for what happened and bear the responsibility for any failures on behalf of the iowa democratic party.
while it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process go through completion, i do believe it is time for the iowa democratic party to begin looking forward and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult. therefore, i would resign as chair of the iowa democratic party effective upon the election of my replacement. and headline, "usa today" on the aftermath of the iowa caucuses, defied expectations, klobuchar's new hampshire surprise means a new battle for money and attention, and that attention focused now on the nevada caucuses, coming up on the 22nd of february. there are a couple of ads from amy klobuchar and michael bloomberg. >> we have a president who thinks everything is about him. his tweets, his golf courses, his ego. but i think the job is about you. your healthcare. your schools. your security. your families. and your future.
i'm amy klobuchar. i'll be a president and a commander in chief who restores decency to the white house and gets things done for you. that's why i approve this message. host: ahead. nevada caucuses, pete buttigieg upping his staff there and also his advertising budget. >> i'm pete buttigieg. providing every single american with quality health insurance isn't just my plan, it's our cause. now, by about it in a very different way than many of my competitors. first, my plan gives everybody access to medicare. everybody. but if you're happy with the private insurance you've got, my plan would let you stick with it if you want. now, others say it's medicare for all or nothing. a prove this message to say the choice should be yours. host: back to your calls and comments on the roger stone case and the resignation of those four federal prosecutors. we go to sterling heights, michigan. this is the democrats line.
caller: good morning. hey, horrible, unfair, unjustice, but wait, it wasn't a nine-year sentence. what it is is just basically a recommendation. the judge will make the decision at the end of the day. it's a person that sat there and heard the case, looked at the evidence, and to conflate it with all these other things, undespair unjurks what happened to mccabe? you fired him right before he got his pension, was that despair just in they want to conflate and say this and that, but a lot is misinformation. unless you were actually in the courtroom hearing the case, how could you have an opinion and say innocent or guilty? the decision was made, guilty by the 12 jurors, correct? so the misinformation is really kind of messing up the system. so we're going to prosecute our perceived enemies and let our hands off or cut them a deal.
and at the end of the day, the president could have pardoned mr. stone right off the bat. he can still pardon him right now. he could pardon him tomorrow. he could pardon him after the sentencing, which is probably going to do. so all this is doing is gumming up the system. host: here's bernie next. i want line. go ahead. caller: how do you do? how do you look out at the audience with a straight face? it's remarkable. i commend you for it. and as far as the justice department is concerned, why not? let him do whatever he wants to do. after all, this is a president a says it's ok to touch woman's genitals, women. can you pay attention to what this man has said? pay attention. and i'd like to add just one other thing. in 2016, the president insulted carly fiorina.
and if she would have gotten off the stool and walked over to him and slapped him, which he deserved, he wouldn't be president. thank you. host: better than knee new york, marie yovanovitch, the former ambassador to ukraine, in her first public comments since the testimony before the house committee with a story here, reporting on that from the "new york times," stark view of american diplomacy, marie yovanovitch, former ambassador to ukraine, who blame a central witness in the impeachment inquiry against president trump, delivered a candid and at times stark assessment wednesday of the declining health of american diplomacy --
host: here's more from that speech. >> we need a vigorous department of state, but right now the state department is in trouble. senior leaders lack policy vision, moral clarity, and leadership skills. the policy process has been replaced by decisions emanating from the top with little discussion. they can see that at levels go unfilled and officers are increasingly wondering whether it is safe to express concerns about policy even behind closed doors. it's not news the state department is being hauled -- hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage. this is no time to undercut our diplomats. with so many challenges, we
need to double down on our diplomacy. and here are some thoughts on the way forward. first we need to reempower our diplomats to do their jobs. we can't be afraid to share our expertise or challenge false assumptions. working off of facts is not the trademark of the deep state, but of the deeply committed state in the words of ambassador mccall. truth matters. host: former ambassador marie yovanovitch, another former administration official speaking yesterday as well, john kelley, former chief of staff, the atlantic, the headline, john kelley finally lets loose on trump. lieutenant colonel vindman, the former national security aide and impeachment witness president trump fired on friday, was just doing his job, former white house chief of staff john kelly told students and guests at drew university on wednesday night --
host: we go next to the republican line, chris in frederick, maryland. caller: good morning. quite a soap opera. every time, everything you look at is crazy. i live and work in washington, and it's a group of yellow jackets that takes strace talk, not double talk from diplomats. going take the straight talk to drain this thing. the more it gets drained, the more the serp ants kind of intertwined down there. it's crazy. i think it's republican and democrat. just to live in this d.c. area, you got to have a million dollars for an apartment or a condo. everybody wants everything to stay the same. that's my comment on that. but what i really called about was the stone investigation. my understanding, and i don't know if you covered it right at 7:00 or slightly after, my understanding is that these are
the high side of the federal sentencing guidelines. in fact, there's a federal sentencing guideline with a multiplier on them. the multiplier is a technical ity, where roger stone apparently kind of jokingly threatened somebody he knew who was testifying against him that he was going to take aware their service dog. -- take away their service dog. and that was parlayed into a big multiplier on the sentencing from what i read on real clear politics. and the prosecutors kind of held over from working with the mueller investigation, told the justice department they weren't going to ask for that, yet they did. and that's sort of an insubordination, last stand, finger pointing at the hawk coming down to get you that they did. and that's why they then resigned. they're probably looking for other jobs anyway because they knew that case was about over. and i think the president just
weighed in after the fact. so that's my understanding. maybe it's wrong, but that's my understanding. host: your sense is in other terms, you're saying you think the federal prosecutors sort of threw the book at him, everything and the kitchen sink in what they were proposing in terms of sentencing guidelines. caller: sure, they put a multiplier on t. it's like a six or eight time multiplier on the low end of the range. there's a range that's specified. and i think that's what the justice department is talking about. it doesn't seem to be the way it's being covered. in the media that you listen to, right? that's my understanding. host: appreciate your comment. i want to point tout piece in "the washington times" today, he compared some sentences, previous similar sentences, federal crimes, similar crimes. it's worth a read at washingtontimes.com. we go to greenville, north carolina. this is the democrats line.
caller: good morning. host: hi. caller: i think it's important for people to understand, because there really is a lot of misinformation, that roger tone was indicted by a group of normal american citizens, and they decided that there was enough evidence to take him to trial, and then when he went to trial, he was found guilty on jury felony accounts by a of his peers. so this idea that, you know, whatever fox is saying about the jury foreman, she didn't make that decision by herself. there were 11 other people. so it's just interesting to me the level of civic
ignorance in this country is ust appalling to me. and the level of misinformation that goes around, people need to do their own research and not in these dark web sites. anyway, that's all i had to say. host: great, glad you got through. new york city, we hear from the independent line. caller: yes, good morning, sir. i usually do not call your network unless it's something very important. i'd like to go back several months ago. this man we have in the white house now, i wouldn't call him president. i said the man. he went on before the election in 2016 and assaulted people, saying he can touch a woman's genitalia and you can touch a woman's breast and you can touch a woman's vagina, and yet it's still the american people, and then you assault megyn fox
when he said you see blood coming everywhere. who talks about a woman's cycle on the air like that? and roger stone was found guilty by a jury of his peers. and then president is tampering ith our justice system, bill barr, we have the sentencing guideline reduced. if you did a crime -- do you think someone is going to tell us, tell the presiding judge to reduce this, and besides that, it was recommended, seven to nine years, he lied to congress, he tamper witnesses. and as a result he had to get the maximum sentence. and for the president to go out lies , oh, this man every day in the white house. he's a liar. he's a pathological liar. ost: comments on text, 202-748-8003. tell us your name, where you're
from. california says this is an independent nonpartisan with a profound disrespect, visceral hate for both political parties. i'm simple terrified of president trump's direct involvement with the judicial branch of our government through attorney general william barr. listening to my fellow countrymen make excuses for this public rape of the rule of law makes me nauseous. stafford, virginia, joseph next up, republican line, good morning. stafford, virginia, go ahead. we'll try one more time, joseph, sorry about that, line's a little sticky, it appears. you're on the air now. caller: there you go. host: there you go. caller: yes, there was a surge of all of the cases in the d.c. circuit database. it appears that this was extremely heavy-handed. there's no other cases with these charges that are getting the amount of time that these prosecutors are throwing at stone. the other thing i want to say
is, yes, there's the news about the jury foreman. apparently even posted on facebook how she was going to vote on the case before it was even -- before it even went to the jury. they're reporting this on wmal this morning, by the way. host: ok. we know that the attorney general will testify before the house judiciary committee at the end of march. the ranking democrat on the senate judiciary committee is dianne feinstein. she said this. we'll show that now just a minute. we go to the democrats line, st. louis, good morning to patrick. caller: good morning, bill. thank you very much for taking my call. thank you to c-span. i just want to say that if president trump can tip the scales like this for roger stone, imagine what he would have done against the central
park five. he would have taken those kids all the way down to where he kept saying he wanted to go. but one more thing, just before you cut me off, i wanted to say that if the president has congress in his back pocket, they bow and they step and they fetch for him now, and now all he's got to do is tweet and barr does his bidding? well, ladies and gentlemen, we've got a king. thank you very much, c-span. wake up, america. host: to parker, colorado, republican line. caller: yeah, hi, thanks for taking me. i would just like to point out how hilarious and hypocritical the democrats are. we have jesse smollett, and he lied, proven by the police, and all charges were dropped because he reaches out to michelle obama's organization
and people who worked under her administration, and he gets dropped on all charges. they're reinvestigating it because of this, but then you have stone, who's only guilty of being trump's friend, yeah, he lied and made a comment about a dog, but it's pretty clear that hillary lied about benghazi, killed soldiers, lied about it, she's off scot-free, making millions, stole money from haiti. they're making money and fat and happy. it's very hypocritical. yes, he did something wrong. yes, he should be pishede. but nine years lying when others have gotten people killed, especially our military, is unacceptable. the democrats need to wake up and stop being led by sheep. that's all i have to say. host: senator dianne feinstein is the ranking member on the senate judiciary committee. she spoke yesterday of how the case should have been handled. >> this interference is quite
simply without precedent, and i find it shocking. as a result, four career prosecutors who had worked on mr. stone's case withdrew from the matter in protest, the deputy chief of fraud and the public corruption section at the u.s. attorney's office resigned from the justice department altogether. the fact that all of the line attorneys, individuals who have devoted their careers to upholding the rule of law, resigned from the case is a red flag. the independence of the justice department is of utmost importance to the functioning of our democracy. so on behalf of this side of the aisle, and i regret very much that the chairman isn't here, but i call on the chairman to open an investigation and hold hearings to get to the bottom of this. i think it's appropriate for our committee to take a look to
the best of my knowledge, this has never happened before. host: independent line next to conway, south carolina. excuse me, to conway, south carolina, and hear from juanita, hi. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span and thank you for taking my call. i was going say something else, but i have to respond to the last caller and respond in general. if the democrats are going to continue to blame everything on the republicans, and the republicans are going to blame everything on the democrats, we are never going to get over the division in this country. and this can only lead to one of two things. we will either have to consider breaking up this country and dividing it up in ways where people can live and live without all this hatred, or we are going to have to take up arms, which is even worse.
is this what these people who call in, is this what they really want? i urge them to think about it. host: that was conway, south carolina, thank you. actually leads us into our next segment here on "washington journal." two members of the problem solvers caucus will talk with us next, talking about policy areas where agreements can be made on capitol hill and elsewhere. tom reed, republican from new york, and democrat josh gottheimer will join us next. later we'll hear about how some republicans are interested in tackling the issue of climate change. we'll hear from arkansas epublican bruce westerman.
story. we traveled to amarillo texas. >> amarillo is in the texas panhandle and we call ourselves the capital city of the panhandle. our fear is that we think regionally. >> with the help of our cable partner, we will learn about the history and literary life of the city and surrounding area, as we talk to local authors and visit local sites. >> it has been this way for thousands of years and all of a sudden it is a drop. it is the second largest canyon in the united states. >> she was here twice teaching for the public school of to 1918 shed 1916 came back and got a position. sometime artists don't write but she wrote her less thickly.
this can teach us so much -- prolifically. you can imagine yourself struggling with, she is so relatable. 5:00in us this saturday at p.m. on c-span twos book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on c-span3's american history tv. the c-span cities tour takes you to amarillo, texas. students from across the country told us the most important issues for the presidential candidates to address our climate change, gun violence, teen vaping, college affordability, mental health, immigration. we are awarding $100,000 in total cash prizes. the winner will be announced on march 11. >> "washington journal" continues. host: bipartisanship in congress
, we are joined by josh gottheimer of new jersey and tom reed of new york, cochairs of the problem solvers caucus. josh, remind us what the caucus is therefore, what your -- there for, and what your goals are? guest: it is 24 republicans and democrats. we come together every single week to figure out how to govern and put america before party and figure out ways for the country. we have all these groups that work on legislation all week long, and our job is to make sure when we get 75% of us agreeing, we stand behind a piece of legislation, two, we don't campaign each other -- against each other and we have that trust in our relationship. host: in addition to your district work, committee work, floor work, you set aside an
hour to go over things you can try to find common ground on? guest: it sounds crazy, but it is really refreshing. there is plenty we actually get done every single week. cable news doesn't always report about it, but believe it or not, there is groups of us that get together and try to figure out the places we can agree. you can get most of what you want and move forward. now that life has kind of returned to normal from capitol hill. what are some of those priorities? guest: just take a moment to celebrate some of our successes. we are a group that gets together and will vote with a consensus. we had a women's vote go through that was approved this week.
-- it is another success of an effort that we got behind, put the weight of the caucus behind it and pushed it to the finish line. we are working on drug pricing reduction. there is a lot of consensus, and we are working tremendously on use of military force. as this issue ripens, we have been having meetings. host: it seems like infrastructure is one of those issues the president keeps about, --, they talk guest: congress came to a formal asition where we have trillion dollar deal. the real deal is you have to pay for it.
we give a menu of items that should be considered, but we can get there because there is bipartisan, ground. -- bipartisan common ground. host: how much weight do you think you have? guest: the fact that we have a lot of successes proves that when the moment is right, we can get a lot done. we have shown, whether it is working with the senate or the administration, we focus on how to come together versus fighting. we look for places where we can get the 80% agreement and move forward. look at the usmca. people worked very hard on that across congress and it was one of the things, it was a great bipartisan agreement that got done and there were some hiccups along the way. they would call us and say, when we come together and try to get this across, that is a lot of what we do. profound changes we
have had in the congress that we lead was called break the gridlock, a reform package of the rules in the house of representatives. it might not sound that exciting, but the way things operate has everything to do with how things can get done. when you get to 290 cosponsors on a bill, people say i will sponsor legislation, when you get 290 of us to agree, it is guaranteed a vote on the house floor. to totally change the rules of congress, that was not the case. 30 bills with more than 300 cosponsors never saw the light of day, so by changing the rules from the ground up in congress so that things get done, that is bill after bill we have gotten to the floor. host: let me go back to the usmca because that was fairly bipartisan, but when i came to
the celebration of that at the white house, there was frustration on the democrat side that it was not recognized as such, that democratic members were not invited. guest: we heard about that, and , we heardhe committee from our colleagues on the others, but we were in the heat of the impeachment and the partisan valley -- battle. at the state of the union, the president did recognize that the body came together, so obviously there are issues, but it was a bipartisan success, and a success the president recognized. host: we want to invite our callers to call in. you can call on the republican or democratic line, (202) 748-8001 republicans, (202) 748-8000 democrats, and (202) 748-8002 independents.
if you think there is an issue congress can come together, let us know. want: the american people us to get things done for them and want us to work together and sit down. we tell them about this and they say, that's great. trade is a great example where we kept working it and working it and it can get frustrating, but you have to stay in the room and do your job, whether it is helping goldstar families or the trade deal or health care and prescription drugs. guest: the beauty of the problem solvers caucus, it is driven by its members and their ego is not the typical congressman or congresswoman ego. they don't care who gets the credit or if they have a celebration. all they care about is getting something done for the american people. host: we were talking about this segment the other day, to join
the caucus you have to bring a member of the other party along. you have 24 democrats, 24 republicans. i would have to find a member of the opposite party. guest: and you have to go to the membership and look them in the to and honor our bylaws stand as a block when we get to 75% consensus, and it is working. guest: if you don't show up every week, you don't build the relationship and the trust. people do not spend enough time with the other side. you get to know each other and it is amazing what you get done if you not only just speak to the other side but listen. find areas we can agree and govern. marlon and ben and allie, and allie is now the president of her class. we get to know each other. that is how we develop
relationships and trust each other. disagree when you can't agree, but agree when you can. host: an issue on prescription drug pricing, what do you think the caucus is getting to? guest: the package, surprise billing will be the reforms without a network bill you get surprised as. that would move along things like transparency, accountability. the caucus came up with proposals and principles that we got around to a consensus position, and a lot of the bills that have passed out of committees and out of the senate and house are things we could get together on. we are working with susan collins, joe manchin are leading. our relationships with senators, they want to do this. guest: we meet once a month with a group of senators. as you know from school, if you
can't get it out of the house to the senate, you cannot get it signed. we are focused on getting it to the president's desk. there were all these bills, you probably hear people say they go to the house and the senate and we want to get action, a lot of them with unanimous consent. there is a bunch of bills in the has the house waiting, so we will start with senators, build unanimous consent. guest: it already passed the u.s. senate. guest: and we bring it to the house and we are pairing them up with members of the house and let's get those done, let's get them out of the house into the president's desk. host: so you don't need a conference committee and it comes back to you. guest: we have identified 14 bills that are widely supported. there are usually house
companion bills with the same language. it is amount of push -- matter of pushing it rather than play the game of we will blame the senate. the american people want us to get something done. host: a democrat from corning, new york, linda, go ahead. caller: good morning. comment, a couple of comments. they talk about it has to be paid for. trumps huge tax cut -- trump's huge tax cut was not paid for. a friend of mine last night told me she is on a medicare plan under where she worked, at&t. her insulin has gone from a reasonable co-pay to up to $460 a month. she lives in a federal housing apartment complex that just went up $20 a month. she works a part-time job so she
can still help. she probably earns five dollars over what she is supposed do so does not get help. they are dillydallying about drug prices. i have been hearing it for three years, and this woman is going to die. her doctor and the department of aging offered her no help. guest: i appreciate you calling, and please encourage her to becauset to our office we cochair the diabetes committee. we have a position that i think will make it through this system that will target insulin, which would limit those co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses. in the meantime, we work with the manufacturers, the pharmaceutical companies. they instituted programs that will deliver capped co-pays for those who do not have access to insulin.
have your friend reach out to our office and we will reach out to them so make sure she does have insulin. we need to get through this crisis. host: do you want to chime in? guest: adding to the point -- anton does a lot of excellent work in this area, we talk about -- and tom does a lot of excellent work in this area, we talk about his family -- we have a health care crisis in this country. we have to double down and do even more. you have got those that have come out with unanimous consent out of the house and senate committees to help on health care costs and more generic drugs which will get prices down, and these are sitting there. this is just absurd. at the end of the year, we'll limited the health insurance tax , medical device tax, and cadillac tax.
we got it done working together which is how it should be. to have to figure out a way make sure medicare and medicaid are ok and social security. seniors are feeling the pressure of these prices. i was thinking that is something i hear far too often. westfield, new jersey on the independent line, maria. caller: i am glad these gentlemen are agreeing to work together, but i would like to suggest they work more with the senate. i would like to put forth two things. the first thing is i want to know why the pentagon is permitted not to be audited. there is trillions of dollars unaccounted for and for all we know, we could be sent anywhere in the world to have secret wars. the second thing about the senate is the five eyes
agreement with britain and its dominions, where we share all of our intelligence with them, and they are not complying with our requests not to use a chinese company for some of their detection devices, which makes us completely available to the chinese. israel and singapore get access to all of our secrets. i was watching senator mike lee saying that we don't want to be great britain again, and we have to look at the fact that we have 31 million unvented illegal aliens- unvetted illegal in our country and the government does not seem concerned. new jersey just became a sanction area state. host: a couple of issues. guest: thank you for calling in on a lot of issues we are grappling with. the audit is going forward and i agree, we have to hold any
nickel spent of your money should be accounted for. host: who would do an audit? guest: a committee. guest: that issue has been around for many years and it is a good reform. guest: we have to cooperate with other nations around the world-, especially our key allies on the intelligence front. it is critical that we have that relationship, essential in fighting off terror, hamas, has lah, alal qaeda -- hezbol qaeda. on the national security front and making sure the weak keep strong relations with our allies -- that we keep strong relations with our allies is important. guest: a well-informed viewer, you are absolutely right on huawei. when i met with the president
and prime minister of poland, they made a decision not to go with huawei. they recognized the security threat, so to see great britain go through with this is troubling. if they do go forward with it like it looks like they are going to do, we are sensitive with sharing information because that is a threat. guest: it also reinforces the importance of us making sure to develop our key technology here so we are not completely reliant on technology that could be used against us. guest: one of our major ceos -- another thing we do in the caucus is bring those on the front line -- a ceo who has been involved in the tell of a -- telecommunications issues, and that is what we were talking about with our relationship with china. while way and china have an interest contrary to ours -- while way and china have --
huawei and china have an interest contrary to ours. guest: i worked at microsoft and i see what happens when we get ripped off and they still our ip, and they are shameless about it. we have got to be tough when it comes to protecting our ip. the cases are exactly what happens if we are not. host: new york, tom, independent line. caller: i am glad you took my call and i'm really glad that these two gentlemen are working together to try to bring congress together, because it is so divided. they were just talking about health care. nobodycare, i think looks at how much the doctors charge or the ambulance service charge. i live 1.5 miles from my hospital and they charged me $860. $347 to, i was charged
be seen by a doctor for less than five minutes. if they want to look at health care, they could save a lot of money by looking at how much things cost. it is just crazy. i tried to call tom reed's office a couple different times to discuss this, and you cannot even find one of his representatives to answer the phone. host: we will let congressman read respond. guest: i appreciate you calling me again, because that is not the performance in our office and i'm not aware of that occurring. we will make sure it doesn't occur. andpoint that you raised, the common sense of the american people astounds me every day. they get it. what you said is at the heart of one of the solutions of health care and it is called transparency. just putting the sunshine on
these bills and having providers and insurance carriers and the folks negotiating this have to respond to the inquiries, why is it $500 to go to the doctor's office for five minutes? the doctors do not know what they are doing -- billing, the providers do not know what they are billing. you get an explanation of benefits where they run the price up but what is due is 1/10 of that. why is that? is that a legitimate charge? that is what transparency and accountability is about. texas, howillinois, about fixing the aca? old, $693 premium. what does health care cost you congressman? start with the affordable care act.
we need to strengthen it and not throw it out. some of the problems on the caucus are how do we stabilize the aca? because there has been so much uncertainty, is the administration going to pay certain bills or cover certain things? the lack of certainty sends prices up because insurance companies do not know what they will receive. strength andt more control of the states that have very smart experiments they are trying, to see if that helps get the cost down. you cannot make it a question whether someone will have coverage and what they are going to pay, and the costs are way up. it is completely out of control. because of the instability in the marketplace, we need to stabilize it and make it better, not throw it out. guest: we get health insurance
because we are mandated as members of congress to be treated like everyone else, and that is rightfully correct. we are treated in our plan as a post office employee and we are running about $2500 a month on out-of-pocket expenses. for a type one diabetic son, $3000 to $5,000 out-of-pocket we are facing. we rightfully as members of congress should not be treated any different than any taxpayer and we have to make sure we recognize that we are in a fortunate position to have the equivalent of a post office employee's health insurance package. most americans do not have access to that. host: charlie in florida, democrats line. caller: good morning. i would like to ask one question for the republican representative. i would like to know what trump's health care plan is?
he was a bigshot running for office and said he could fix it and says he could do it easy, he could do it easily. i just would like to ask the representative, the republican representative what is his health care plan? host: why don't you pose your question for congressman gottheimer? what is your question? for the democratic representative, i want to know what his feelings are on social security and medicare, if he's going to try to protect those. host: tom reed? caller: on the trump proposal, there is recognition even by the administration that health care is complicated and not as simple as anticipated. what trump has done in regards to the department of health and
issues on regulatory reform to make more transparency in prices available and more access to health care available is something we should applaud. the root of the trump administration's system is to disrupt health care. for example, foreign markets, where we subsidize it in the u.s., foreign markets get the benefit for that. that got caught up into litigation and other issues, but shows you the heart of what the president is trying to do, disrupt health care by bringing transparency and accountability. we should get together and say, this is not about obamacare any longer or the affordable care act. we need to move forward from that debate. host: you touched on social security and medicare earlier. guest: we need to make sure we do everything we can to protect
social security and medicare. it is not a giveaway. people pay for it every single week. when you retire, you want to make sure people are not on the streets destitute. the cost of living increase on social security, a lot of talk on this issue. it has not been increasing as it should. drug prices are going up and they are struggling, so we need to go -- we need to address that. you cannot just blow these things out or got them. -- gut them. what can we do to strengthen it and fix it and make it better, not toss it out and say these things don't matter? them is not the solution. issues ofause these health care and social security
are difficult and complex, we are the only forum in d.c. that is without cameras, sitting in a room rolling up our sleeves at least an hour but sometimes two or three, and we have a debate back and forth, what is causing this? what can we do and if we do this, what is the unintended consequence? we are about substantive solutions that will address these problems and it only happens by doing the hard work. guest: the c-span caucus. you cannot do these things in soundbites. you talk about the use of military force, subgroups that work on these issues, we were in my office at 7:00 or 8:00 at night for hours working on it. the only way to get it done is to put up whiteboards and have a frank conversation with no cameras around. guest: because we can commit to not do gotcha politics, people
feel comfortable to express proposals so you do not get the soundbite that gets you in trouble. host: you avoid social media comments? guest: what we do is we have that forum where you can talk to each other like you are supposed to, in my opinion. guest: one point that is very important, you don't talk about what happens in the room. public, do it in outside forces are affecting your discussions. the second thing is, i am a proud democrat and tom is a proud republican. that is fine, you stick with what you believe is right, but are you willing to put america first and when we sit together and work together, we work some places, even if they are the same places we disagree, but find the places we agree. that is why people send us here. host: the reverse of the "fight
club," what happens in the not fight club stays. that we are is 25% not going to agree on so we just set that aside. host: the independent line, grove, missouri, mike. -- is: my question is far for representative reed. i want to know how he feels laws all the nonpartisan that are sitting on donald hisp's desk, and does docus, do they try to anything about mitch mcconnell not moving things through the senate? comment thatave a as long as we have a divider in the white house like donald trump, who is constantly breaking and bending laws and
republicans are covering up for him, then we can never have peace in our country. host: some final thoughts. guest: i appreciate that. the president of the united states is the president and i respect that office. i will focus on what we are trying to do, change the narrative. passedbills that have the u.s. senate, put our weight behind those that we can come to common ground on, and move those through the system to the president's desk. we can sit here and a lot of bills in the "mcconnell graveyard" are partisan messaging and only went with republican support. if that is all we want to do is yell about mitch mcconnell, nothing will get done. let's turn it around and say for the american people, what can we get to the president's desk. guest: we are trying to figure
out, the bill that had unanimous those tohow do we get the top of the pile to get to the president's desk and out of the senate? it is frustrating. how do we keep the process moving? that is what we are trying to do. guest: to give an idea of common ground, veteran-related, cyber security issues, things that will not make headlines but will impact people in a positive way, keep them safe, and help our veterans out. lawer: helping veterans and enforcement and first responders and seniors, these are not partisan issues. host: we don't expect the c-span cameras will be invited to the problem solvers caucus. we would love to be there. guest: we will have you for some session. host: i would love that.
cochairs of the problem solvers caucus, good luck. thank you for being here. next, we are joined by the only forrester in the u.s. congress, bruce westerman will join us to talk about issues addressed in climate change and the initiative of the trillion trees act. ♪ this weekend, we are live from the civic -- >> this weekend, we are live from the savanna book festival. robert will some on the life of pt barnum. women in space. environmental lawyer robert and a lot on his battle against dupont.
recounting the journey of 18 black men admitted into harvard in 1959. on the partnership between george washington and benjamin franklin. race, and her experiences growing up in puerto rico. caterpillar foundation president michelle sullivan on leadership and philanthropy, the savanna book festival live. be sure to watch our live coverage of the tucson festival on book tv on c-span two. article two is adopted. >> do you solemnly swear that in all things pretraining to the -- pertaining to the impeachment of donald john trump, president of the united states, now pending. >> you will do justice according
to laws, so help you god. the court will continue with impeachment. >> we have seen a descent into constitutional madness. >> the basis upon which this has moved forward is irregular in the -- to say the least. >> donald john trump is not guilty in the second article. >> for the second time in history, a president has been impeached and acquitted. c-span provided live, comprehensive coverage of the impeachment of president trump. you can find our video and related resources at c-span.org/impeachment. c-span, your place for unfiltered coverage of congress. students from across the country told us the most important issues for the presidential candidates to address our climate change, gun violence, teen vaping, college
affordability, mental health, and immigration. we are awarding $100,000 in total cash prizes. the winners will be announced on march 11. >> "washington journal" continues. host: bruce westerman, republican of arkansas and member of the natural resources committee and supporter of the trillion trees act, an effort that was made public by president trump at the davo's world economic forum --davos world economic forum. what does this propose? guest: to plant a trillion trees across the globe by 2050, the u.s. to do our fair share of that. forests are our biggest tool we have as far as mitigating climate issues, and when we
utilize the forests and keep them sustainable and working in active, we really have the best tool that is out there that is widespread, it is natural, and to getery economical carbon out of the atmosphere with force. host: you come here as a forester yourself, graduated from yale, master of forestry. this had to sound like music to your ears. guest: it is something that is near and dear to me. if you look at the planet, there is about 3 trillion trees on the planet and about 2 billion in the u.s. we do good at taking care of our forests but we could always do better. treesly to plant a lot of but to take care of the forest we have got. the neat thing about trees as
they produce would, which is about -- wood, which is about 40% to 50% carbon. we make a product out of it and the carbon stays in the wood as long as the structure is there. this table, part of it is wood underneath. you see wood all over the studio. that carbon was pulled out of the atmosphere years ago and is not getting into the atmosphere. sustainable building practices can go a long way toward reducing atmospheric carbon and storing that carbon. if you think about what forests can do, not only can we sequester carbon in the trees but we can harvest those trees and have an endless amount of storage to pull carbon out of the atmosphere. people are catching on to this, especially in my state where we
have a lot of beautiful forest, good, sustainable forestry practices. the university of arkansas where i did my undergraduate work in engineering, the two five-story mass timber dormitories are the largest wooden building project in the country. host: are those as safe as steel or concrete? guest: you put the design standards out and have to meet the fire codes. there has been a lot of testing on using would in building -- wood in building. if you think of a log in the fire, it chars on the outside and takes a long time to build into the middle. as it heats up, it increases its strength. just up the road from the university of arkansas, walmart is building their new corporate headquarters out of sustainably
grown, arkansas wood, which is good for local economies. that walmart facility will have about 17 million pounds of carbon sequestered when they completed. it is a building for 15,000 employees. host: congressman for mac does -- arkansas, supporter of the trillion trees. republicans.1, (202) 748-8000, democrats. (202) 748-8002, independents and others. this is a trillion trees worldwide. what is the estimated number this would propose planting in the u.s.? guest: there has -- is 300 billion trees in the u.s. ,f we were to do our fair share which i think we will do more,
it will be 100 billion trees over 30 years or 3.3 billion trees a year. we are already planting 2.5 billion trees a year in the u.s. so we are talking about 800 million more. we have a fifth grade forestry challenge to help youngsters understand how photosynthesis works, the benefit of stable forestry management and good building practices. part of that program will be to provide a hands-on experience. we are opening that up for nonprofits and operations and ngos. they can come together and supply these trees, and we are getting an overwhelming response. host: that is 3.3 people and 5 billion trees planted annually. who is the largest -- is the federal government, industry? guest: industry by far plans
more trees. arkansasle forestry in , we plant three or four trees for every tree we harvest. trees were reproducing long before we learned howdy tran -- plant -- how to plant seeds. seeds regenerate and you can do forestry practices which will cause natural regeneration to occur. you can get exponential more trees sprouting them we could ever plant. we can get more trees just by doing natural regeneration on our federal land. host: when you as a forester look at issues like the amazon and rain forest and the fires that happen, how concerned are you that something like that might happen in the u.s.? guest: we have seen that in the past in the u.s. we did not understand forestry.
it was a new science. it was the first forestry school in the country started in 1901. relatively speaking for science, that is not that long of a history, but we figured out the science behind forestry and how to do it correctly. part of the trillion tree act is to provide assistance to countries who may be behind. we want to stop deforestation. forests are the best karma dating -- carbon aiding mechanism we have. sunshine excites the water and carbon dioxide and causes the hydrogen to go over to the carbon dioxide, releases oxygen in the atmosphere and stores the carbon in the tree as long as that tree is there and as long
as the wood is maintained. when that tree is burned up in a forest fire, the carbon goes back into the atmosphere. over, ities and falls usually goes back as methane. we can intervene in that and store the carbon, use the wood for a lot of different projects, and reduce the carbon in the atmosphere. we haveioxide, since been measuring atmospheric hawaiidioxide in 1958 in , 315 parts per million and now it is 411 ports -- parts per million. using air pockets and life scores, we know going back thousands of years it has never been above 300 parts per million. host: you are fairly concerned about man-made climate change. guest: there is no question
since 1800 we have put more carbon into the atmosphere. you hear ideas about, how do we -- we need to stop putting carbon in the atmosphere, but what do we do with the carbon that is already in the atmosphere? a tree is the most effective way. host: linda in minnesota. caller: good morning. i am up in the sticks in minnesota and i live in the forest. both of my parents worked in the forest industry. i planted my first tree when i was one years old and i have continued every year since then. years,say that after 65 it is finally great that the republicans are on board and think this is a good idea, but trees are not the only thing causing climate change. let's talk about trump turning back the clean water. you want clean air for your kids
to breathe but do not want clean water for your kids to drink. my suggestion for you if you are serious, is get a hold of greta, because you want to talk about what the young kids want, they want greta. listen to her, get some ideas from her, and try to move forward. guest: i have been to beautiful minnesota even in the wintertime when it is cold and frozen. i am glad you mentioned water. we think about trees in terms of , teddy roosevelt called them the lungs of the earth, but if you look at some of his earlier speeches, he addressed the first american forest congress in 1905 and talked extensively about how important trees are for water. think said all along, we of trees like the lungs of the earth but they are kind of like the kidneys as well.
roosevelt talked about if we wanted water in the west, how important it was to protect the watersheds and timber around them. new york city and boston, their water comes from sustainably managed forests. two thirds of the drinking water in the united states comes from forest areas. you are right on taking care of water, and that is the beauty of our forest. we not only get clean air but clean water and all the other benefits. host: texas, john, republican line. caller: good morning. i am in east texas in piney woods and we have a lot of trees. they take out the trees and they put more in then they take out, and we have always had that. previous on climate change that blamed trump, it is not a political issue.
i have years old, but studied the bible and the earth is the lord's fullness thereof and it is his planet. he is not going to let anything happen to it. he holds the deed to it. it is one thing to do one thing to one industry and hope that will help. you will not get the rest of the world to help. china and india will do nothing. we can do everything we want and it will do no good. neighbor, are a arkansas borders texas, another beautiful part of the country in east texas in piney woods. i agree with you that god is sovereign and he tells us we are to be good stewards of what he has given us to care take, and that is what we should do regardless of what others around
the world are doing. we can be leaders in showing them how to be good stewards, and that is what the trillion trees act is about. it takes care of our responsibility to take care of the forest land and timber we have, but we have programs to educate other countries. ethiopia planted 350 million trees in one day. you can plant a lot of trees if you have the gumption to do that , and i think we can see changes around the world. you are exactly right, the most greenhouse gas emissions are coming from china and india, and people do not realize the u.s. is leading the world on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. we reduced our greenhouse gas emissions more than the next 12 countries combined who signed onto the paris climate agreement. there is more we can do, but trees are the obvious answer as the first big step in addressing
this problem. host: the natural resources committee, how much traction is your proposal getting from democrats and in the house? guest: i am getting a lot of good feedback from the bill, talking to democrats about cosponsoring the bill. if people look at the science behind it and what we are trying to achieve, we are in washington, d.c. someone will disagree, but it is solid on the facts and the research. i can bring you stacks of research papers and it is interesting since i have been working on this and reaching out to academics, i have been flooded with research showing the most effective thing we can do to mitigate carbon is to have healthy forests where we are not earning them up in forest fires, where we are growing more wood on the forest, where we are using the products off of the forest, and we generate these
whenuals chips and sawdust you saw lumber. that is energy that can be used as a renewable source. instead of billions of acres going up in flames, we get out these overgrown forests and capture the energy and keep fossil fuels in the ground. it is not the only solution but it is a great step. host: betty in l's more, kansas, democrats line. -- elsmire, kansas, democrats line. caller: my hundred 75 and has been a logger his whole life. passion right now is that our cities, counties, and states, when those companies,
when their workers cut trees after a storm or for whatever reason, they just take those to the landfill. youas asked them, why don't try to get some use out of that timber? themeople come in and cut up for firewood or something, take it to their sawmill and use it for their woodworking projects and they say, we cannot do that because it would compete with our lumber yards, our businesses. i think if we would do something on a city, county, and state level, it would show a message of conservation. it would show a message of caring for the environment. aat is our passion here, just small issue, but it could be big if you brought it all over the united states. host: thank you. guest: conservation starts with the individual, and what you are
talking about is an issue that needs to be addressed. there is a lot of technology being developed where people can take municipal solid waste that goes into a landfill and make crude out of that that can be refined along with petroleum. there are other ways you can use wood residue to generate electricity and heat, and we need more research. we are promoting more research and development on biodegradable plastics and biochemicals. there is a world of opportunity to make the same things we use on a daily basis and make them more sustainable by using wood as the resource or input into those processes. host: you mentioned in washington, someone will disagree. m.i.t., a trillion trees is a good idea but could
become a dangerous climate distraction. trees can that yes, and will need to play some role in sequestering carbon, but that is all the more reason we cannot rely on trees as a stand-in of cutting emissions from our energy, transportation, and agriculture enthusiasm. it is hard to read republicans' for tree planting is anything other than ascetical effort to dampen the growing calls for the sorts of regulations and taxes required to bring about those changes. guest: i don't think they are seeing the whole picture. show me a technology or tool that is more efficient or economical to pull the carbon out of the atmosphere and store it for a long time. ,ne thing people are missing
the argument that we are not doing anything to reduce emissions. look at the sustainability tax credit in the bill. it provides a tax credit that is based on a score for the sustainability of the building, how much energy went into manufacturing the product and transporting it to the jobsite? that will cut down on carbon emissions. how much energy does it take to operate and maintain the building? how do you put more efficient appliances in it, more efficient heating and lighting? that cuts down on emissions of carbon. how much carbon is stored in the structure over time? that does not reduce the amount of carbon going in the atmosphere, and we focus a lot on transportation tools. all of it combined, planes, trains, automobiles, 20% of the greenhouse gases come from
transportation and 50% comes from industry and electoral generate -- electrical generation. we see cars moving around and think that is where all the emissions are coming from, and it is not. this bill is saying the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere, and it does everything to pull carbon out. host: you obviously come with expertise in forestry. what got you interested in the field? guest: i grew up in arkansas where the natural state, i spent a lot of time in the forest. my sunday school teacher was a world war ii veteran and he had come back from the war and was in the first graduating class arkansasuniversity of at monticello forestry. i just had great respect for him , spent time hunting and fishing with him. he knew everything about the
natural environment around us, and i wanted to be like mr. culpepper. i studied engineering in undergraduate and got an opportunity to go to yale and study forestry, and it is passion. my wife calls me a tree nerd. host: michael is next, new york city on our democrats line. this is another con by mr. trump. i find it pretty curious that this is happening during an election year. why hasn't anything been done the last three years? what is trump going to do, plant these trees on top of the pipelines he is allowing in america? how about that, sir? give us an understanding of why this is happening nine months before the election and what has years,ne the last three
which is absolutely zip. guest: this is something i have been working on pretty much my whole time in congress. i have worked on sustainable forestry issues since i have been elected in 2014. for me, it is not something that just started. you bring up a great point. there are places we can plant trees that need trees, and this bill looks at urban forestry. we can do a better job at planting trees in our urban areas. most of them used to be forests and we have cleared the forest. we can look at marginal agricultural land and wetlands, and make sure we have the right species and are doing the right science in planning these trees. can hear us while we are doing this, what is the motive behind it, but i would ask you this question, what is a better alternative? i don't believe there is a better alternative than to plant
trees and keep the forest healthy and sustainable, and use those products every day. host: we have the u.s. house coming in very shortly at 9:00. sunderland, maryland, larry on the republican line. caller: trees are an air filter and they give off oxygen, but one thing this big global whelming deception -- warming deception is on god. setting australia fires. our biggest threat is nuclear winter. tornadoes and storms, they are a natural. host: if we focus on forest fires out west, is it worse now than it used to be in the last 20 years or so? guest: it is exponential, not just a gradual increase. you can almost tie in when we
stopped managing our forests. i like to use the term we have loved our trees to death. they are living organisms that grow until they feel the growing space. they get stressed because of lack of water or light, and you get insects and disease infestations and you see stressed timber and lightning strikes and it goes up in flames. that is a natural process. fire is part of the natural ecosystem and part of forestry is mimicking natural processes in a controlled manner. we can do a better job taking care of the federal lands we have. the founder of, yale forestry school and founder of the forestry service, said we need to do the greatest good for the longest number for the long run. we forget that sometimes, and we
want to just do what seems prudent for the moment. some people think if you cut a tree it is bad, but it is mimicking a natural, -- process. virginia.in richmond, caller: hello. forplaud the congressman wanting to plant all these trees, but i want to point out that the trump administration is wanting to move into the tongass national forest, the largest rain forest, natural rain forest in north america, to drilling. host: we will get a response. heard anythingt about drilling in tongass, but it is the natch -- largest natural forest in the four system. if you look at when timber was being cut out of the tongass, if
you think of it as being a football field, the amount cut was less than a six inch strip off football field. you have more natural mortality taking place in a forest like that then what you will ever cut out of it. we have plenty of trees in the tongass and areas like that. we can do a lot better job of being sustainable with the working force across the country. host: hate to cut you short, but you got to get to work. bruce westerman, congressman of arkansas. "washington journal" back tomorrow at 7:00 eastern. we take you live to the house next.